Improving compliance with Part L
ACE has developed a briefing, in collaboration with CIBSE, the Construction Products Association, BSRIA and STROMA setting out a new and highly effective proposal for radically improving compliance with Part L.
Part L compliance could be radically improved by strengthening existing procedures for ensuring that the claimed design carbon emissions, as determined via the ‘design stage’ SAP/SBEM assessment, are delivered in the completed building.
We have identified a growing confusion in the roles of Building Control Officers (BCOs) and Energy Assessors (EAs) in the implementation of Part L of the Building Regulations. A view has been expressed to us at a senior level within LABC to the effect that the confirmation of compliance with Part L is the responsibility of the EA and their certification body, rather than the BCO. The EA however has no responsibility for on-site checking of compliance with an initial specification. The consequence of this is an uncontrolled and incomplete system of compliance. Finally, and we believe crucially, there is no adequate mechanism for purchasers to bring a claim in civil law in the event of inadequate delivery, as there is currently no binding as-built specification available to them.
In our assessment, the key elements of the necessary quality assurance processes are in place, particularly thanks to a combination of the enhancements made to Part L in 2010 and the useful co-existence of the EPC delivery process. We have also identified a number of potential statutory remedies, which we believe could, when combined with the changes we are proposing, provide the necessary recourse for owners under civil law.
In summary we propose that:
- The data used to create a design EPC should be enhanced to produce a qualitative specification.
- This specification should be issued to BCOs, who must then use it to confirm on-site application of the proposed specification.
- The current requirement (in Regulation 27 of the Building Regulations 2010) for a builder to notify the local authority of changes in specification during build should be strengthened and fully complied with.
- At completion the builder should formally attest that the input data used by the EA to generate the design EPC represents the true as-built condition of the building.
- The as-built version of the input data sheet should be lodged with Landmark by the EA on behalf of the builder, and be retrievable under the same Report Reference Number (RRN) as the EPC.
- Removal or amendment of Regulation 47 of the Building Regulations 2010, the presence of which prevents legal recourse for non-compliance in several relevant areas.
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